Point-of-Work & ADDIE? Say It Ain’t So…

My recent post  70:20:10 – Myth or Legend? roused a few readers to offer up some really solid comments, and there were a few that left me feeling like I was at a NASCAR race and just shouted “Ford Rules!” Now if you’ve never been to a NASCAR race, let me tell you this about that…every fan has a favorite make of car and nothing shall come between them and their brand…except maybe a case of Budweiser! And so it seems is also true with training design models. And rumor has it that with enough tequila, even the hard-core will abandon ADDIE. But should they?

Personally, I do not give a flying rip what methodology one chooses to use. A training design methodology will only yield a training solution, and that’s perfectly great if all you’re after is POTENTIAL. Sorry…am getting cranked up already, and I promised myself this would not become a rant….

For the last 15 of my 35+ years in the L&D discipline, I’ve been tracking on something different – PERFORMANCE – and performance only manifests at Point-of-Work.

It took me 20 years to finally “get it” in that training was not going to sustain the performance of my workforce where it really mattered most to the company –@ Point-of-Work – the point where someone is going to DO something…take an action…make an entry in a business application…make a decision that either generates business value…protects it…or squanders it through loss, waste, liability, or explosion. THAT is where I give a rip about the output of any solution design.

Therefore, my methodology…or yours…or anyone else’s only matters a whit IF…repeat …IF…holistic discovery has been accomplished at Point-of-Work to determine the who, what, when, where, and why performance is impeded or restricted.

Many training design models exist and as much as we might slather on more lipstick, it’s still training design. Return to your homes, there is nothing to see here.

Want in on a little secret?

They are all based upon freaking ADDIE! I’m serious…look really closely…

I can almost hear the boo-birds now. ADDIE? Are you kidding me? He’s nuts! Dude, that worn out model came from the military back in the 60s.

True, true and true. But before you get all raked up in a pile, consider this…

Yeah, it’s old. But to be honest, if you dig deep enough into any of the new models, the same basic building blocks or phases take place regardless of what shade of lipstick is smeared on it.

Even the performance paradigm I write about is grounded in ADDIE…at least after the discovery phase. Now THAT is a confession I thought I’d never make!

Hear me out!

The “A” is NOT ANALYSIS as in training needs assessment; rather, it is a performance assessment…done by a 70:20:10 Performance Detective, or a performance consultant, or a performance ninja at the Point-of-Work focused on People, Process, Content, Technology, and Measurement.

And to be bluntly honest, everything else…the D-D-I-E that follows…has evolved in a very big and beautiful way that is often under-leveraged and defaults to training solutions because we whiffed on discovery with the “A”. Even so, in it’s evolution it is still D-D-I-E at the core.

DESIGN? Absolutely, but the design should be INTENTIONAL DESIGN that is intentionally focused on both learning AND performance across all 5-moments of need and at the Point-of-Work.

DEVELOPMENT? Bingo, right again! Now it might be in smaller increments so I can pilot test at the Point-of-Work and iterate based on feedback. Yeah, I might revisit design again to fine-tune, but hey…that’s what AGILE is all about isn’t it?

IMPLEMENT? Certainly, and implementation is tied to the incremental development phase. Also, I’m implementing solutions closer to the Point-of-Work…if not embedded within the workflow itself using a number of spiffy new Digital Performance Support (DPS) technologies.

EVALUATE? Yeah buddy. Like a big dog! And I’m evaluating from the get-go…from performance assessment to feedback on my agile incremental solution pilots to post-training ROI. I’m evaluating if the assets are effective at Point-of-Work? If they are relevant to the work requirements at Point-of-Work? If they are accessible at the Moment of Need…at the Point-of-Work? And even more exciting, I’m now laser focused on the results of ACTION by the workforce at Point-of-Work in the form of Actor – Verb – Object courtesy of xAPI and a boat load of analytics potential stuffed into my Learning Record Store (LRS).

Shocking right? ADDIE’s got some new clothes.

“ADDIE? Is that you? Seriously, child, you look like you’ve lost a little weight. Looking lighter on your feet. You go, agile girl! Always young, right?”

Funny how so much change remains the same underneath.

Firstly, I’m not convinced we’ve really changed our approach as much as we’re finally catching up to what technology has afforded us. Solutions do look a little different, but down deep ADDIE was used regardless of what we’ve called it.

Secondly, methinks we are finally “getting it” in the sense that our traditional training paradigm can’t match the pace of change and velocity of business demand. Despite clutching our Articulate licenses to our chests like a flotation device in a water landing, someone somewhere gets it and realizes…Damn, all I needed was a downloadable PDF!

Thirdly, it matters not what we call or label anything. It’s not Ford or GM or Toyota. It’s not which methodology we trust. What DOES matter is business performance at Point-of-Work…and doing our discovery homework up front. That means the “A” in ADDIE becomes a really big deal. And that’s why I’m a fan of 70:20:10…the “A” is treated as a really big deal…ask any Performance Detective.

Gary G. Wise
Workforce Performance Advocate, Coach, Speaker
(317) 437-2555
Web: Living In Learning